Tonight I processed--oh, I don't like that word!--my first chicken. I've been putting it off and finding all kinds of excuses to avoid doing it. Well, early this evening my Dachshund forced the issue. With my husband in the back yard and me at the side dealing with the other chickens she went on a rampage among my bantam cockerels that were out in the yard`. Not a sound from her or the chickens! Did she hurt the three I had slated to be slaughtered first because they were so nasty and bit me???? No! She got my favorites, two I would be keeping! I found my favorite, an adorable frizzle Cochin on his back in the middle of the yard, not 15 yards from where my husband was working. The other Cochin frizzle was in a pile a few feet away. It looked like a war zone. I found one under the shed and my husband finally found the fourth with the dog trying to rip it apart. Not a sound from the chicken or the dog! The last one was badly hurt and it wasn't hard to just grab a knife and slit the throat but it wasn't easy like in the videos. Thankfully the chicken was a bit shocky to begin with, so it didn't suffer. I had a lot of trouble trying to slit the throat and dealing with the feathers--it was a Silkie with a lot of pin feathers. There was nowhere to slip the knife in between the feathers. I think it took a little longer time to bleed out because it was in shock from the attack, not because I hadn't cut the vein properly. I tried to cut off the head after it had died, but didn't have the right tools for that. The videos have them just slicing it off--just what kind of a knife do they use???? It was dusk when I killed the chicken. Because this was an emergency, my husband was with me helping though the whole thing. After I killed the chicken, I went to attend the wounded and set them up in hospital cages. I probably should have just slaughtered them all, but I really like the two frizzles and the third Silkie. Why couldn't that dog have gone after the other three that I wanted to slaughter? They never even got hurt! After the wounded were taken care of, I went back to my dead chicken. I had already decided some time ago to skin the Silkies and had been watching videos on it. It wasn't as easy as the videos, of course. Silkies pose their own problems with all their fluff and feathered feet. I did think I did a good job cleaning it. I have read, watched videos and obsessed about this for so long, that I did most of it by memory. It wasn't as bad as I expected. I didn't notice much smell (I didn't scald them) but was prepared for it. Nothing came off or out as easily as in the videos, but I guess that's normal. It was difficult to get the entrails to come out and that took some fiddly work. I had a few fleeting moments of distress when I noticed how warm and alive the flesh and entrails felt. The chicken didn't struggle much when it died. I expected worse. Was that because it was in shock to begin with? My husband was beside me for the whole thing. He had told me long ago he wouldn't be able to help, but the situation being an emergency changed that. This was more an act of mercy rather than slaughter. He even went up to get one of my books to find out what to do with the esophagus--I just couldn't remember. It was a lot easier because there was no decision--the chicken was badly hurt and was slated for slaughter anyway. Trying to save the other three might not have been smart. I might end up with three dead chickens in the morning and end up throwing their bodies away. I just happen to like all three and want to keep them. I hope having done it once, I can do it again. We'll see. Cambertin, can you give me some suggestions on slaughtering Silkies? Thanks.